It’s spring and the beauty of the season is all around us here. Bright yellow-orange poppies dot the sides of the Valley Road. Rich purple lupine and orange Indian paintbrush create ponds of color in the green fields that nestle up against our valley hills. Even they are starting to fade now, but Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I’m reminded of just how much my mom enjoyed spring with all of its fresh color. After the dark and cold of a Pacific Northwest winter, spring was always a fresh breath of colorful delight. And up there it was the yellow daffodils, purple foxglove and wild pink columbine that were first up in the spring.
It’s been six months now since our Lord ushered Mom into her eternal home. I’m sure that the beauty of heaven’s glory more than fills her heart’s desire for the fresh colors of spring. But the splashes along the roadsides down here bring a smile as I recall how much she enjoyed the flowers here below.
Now with Mother’s Day on the horizon I’ve also given some thought to the rich legacy Mom leaves. Fortunately I’m blessed with lots of great memories – best of all her passion and prayers to see her three kids follow the Lord. But as I think about how Mom partnered with Dad to touch other’s lives, I think, too, about her ability to find spring flowers in the winter experiences of life. Long before those seeds pushed green sprouts up through the soil, Mom saw the blossoms that were sure to come in time. No complaints about the dark stormy weather, the bitter cold winds that touched her early life. She was looking for the spring flowers that God would bring in other’s lives through opportunities to serve her family, her students and her friends along the way.
Just after Mom’s passing I was sifting through some things on her desk when I came across a pad of notes from a Bible study series she’d been working through. There, in the graceful handwriting of an Mother’s Day Flowers elementary school teacher of days gone by were some reflections on the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, chapter five. “Verse 16 – Rejoice always. It’s an imperative. Why? No event or circumstance can occur in the life of a believer that can diminish a Christian’s joy. It starts with God (Psalm 16:11), comes through Christ (John 15), and is dispensed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Though mixed with trials (James 1:12), joy is lived in the anticipation of heaven (Romans 12:12). Our joy is the experience springing from the deep down confidence that we are sufficient in Christ, that God is in perfect control, and that He will work it all together for our good and His glory.”
There was plenty more there – solid biblical reflections to nourish the soul. But a short time later, Mom suffered a brain bleed and the Lord called her Home. Still, I’m reminded of just how much those verses of scripture jotted down on that notepad shaped Mom’s life. She lived that life of joy, and it’s a challenging legacy even now to follow.
Maybe your mother is still with you, or maybe she’s gone on ahead. Either way, Mother’s Day is a good opportunity for thanksgiving. A word of appreciation expressed to her, or perhaps to others about her who were touched by her life, gratitude is a good gift wherever it is shared. And taking a lesson from my mom’s life, I’m reminded that Mother’s Day is a good day to look past the barrenness of winter in the rich anticipation of spring flowers ahead. Surely someone close to us can benefit from fresh words of encouragement generously given. That’s a bouquet when delivered that will never fade or get old.